Friday 29 November 2013

Skip to the end

“With the bedtime stories for little girls, there is a trick, which I tell you. When you see she is almost asleep, you must skip to the end.”

— Osh, Malcolm learns the trick of bedtime tales

Today is the Eighth Anniversary of the beginning of this story.

A year ago I admitted that I was having doubts about my willingness or ability to carry on writing it. I’ve spent the last year trying not to think about that too much, but today, as I try to figure out what I want to say in this space, I realize it’s time to call it done.

“The beginning and the end – that’s what stays in a person’s mind. One must decide how one wants the recipient to think or feel, and put the right words at the beginning and end.”

— Sigefrith, Ogive meets the man of the midnight hour

The beginning and end

I still love the characters. I still have many stories I wanted to tell about them and which I regret never having written. But I’ve moved on as a writer. Any temptation to come back to this story is met with the realization that my writing time would better be spent elsewhere.

I neither want to denigrate this story medium as not being “real writing”, nor am I claiming that I am now a “real writer” and therefore am somehow above this.

But I do, as I peck away at more conventional novels, realize that there are some skills that this story simply cannot teach me. And there are some pleasures it cannot give me, among them the simplest one of storytelling: of gathering all storylines up into a bow and saying “The End.”

“Your life is like a book, with a story everyone knows, but the last page is missing, and there are only a good many more blank pages at the end. So now you may pick up your pen and write the ending you like.”

— Matilda, Alred sees no poetry

The ending you like

I am still writing, offline. I am certain that many of these characters and many of these stories will reappear in my future work, if not in person then at least in echoes, in shadows, in glimpses of red gowns.

Meanwhile, as I promised, I will tell you everything I had planned for this story. You won’t have the fun of reading the unwritten chapters, but at least you will know what would have been. The two posts after this one will be dedicated to this. The first will provide the background of my supernatural story world, and the second will tell you how the characters’ lives were to have played out.

I will also be happy to answer any questions you have, if there are subjects that interest you that I forgot to address. I’m not going anywhere, and this site isn’t going anywhere – I will leave it online for as long as is feasible.

Again, I want to thank you all for reading – for stepping into my story world and letting me amuse, distract, and move you. This story has been an “epoch in my life”, but I have been neglecting it for too long. I realize now that it is time for me to dust it off, wrap it up, and lovingly lay it aside.

“But perhaps I am a little sad too. It is the beginning of some things, but also the end of others.”

— Iylaine, Egelric lets go

'But also the end'